Do you struggle to find the time to manage every department in your business? And are there aspects of your business you would love help with?
Growth can be so much easier and faster with the help of a team around you. We live in an information age, where DIY is far more possible. Yet it is still as important as ever to look to other people for help with the difficult tasks.
Back in 2005, I was studying for my G.C.S.E.s. One of my subjects was Graphic Products and for my final project, I decided to try and produce a concept games console. The result was a very slim, compact unit with a touchscreen surface. You have to understand, this was at a time before smartphones, so the design was quite revolutionary and I didn’t quite realise the significance at the time.
My final grade for the year was a C.
See, what I had was a great idea, a single great concept. But I wasn’t a designer. I didn’t have the know-how to produce various concepts and branding, showing steps taken to reach my final product. My branding was poor, my presentation wasn’t great.
All I had was the idea.
So what’s the lesson from this?
Well, it’s exactly the same in business. There are lots of entrepreneurs out there with great ideas, great concepts - but they try to do everything themselves. There’s plenty of “self-learning” resources available in our modern age - you can learn practically any skill you want to via the internet, whether how to play the piano, how to bake or how to build your own website. Some can take a day to learn, some weeks and some months.
Now don’t get me wrong - there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to better yourself and build your skill sets. However when this translates to business, rather than “giving up” cash to pay an expert, you are giving up your time to try and do it yourself.
If you were looking to design a logo, would you want to hire someone with zero experience, zero qualification and zero reputation to do it? In their favour, they share your passion and vision for your business, but they would also be taking away your time from building other aspects of your business.
So how do you balance a project between DIY and using someone else’s expertise?
Consider your time. How much of your own time it will take if you were to do it yourself? Will it mean that other aspects of your business will be shelved as a result? Will it be less costly to outsource those other aspects instead?
Consider the cost. Practically speaking, if outsourcing will cripple your business financially, then obviously it would be better for you to try and keep it in-house.
Consider the return. For example, building a website can cost a lot of money upfront, with ongoing running costs per month thereafter. But if having a website will inevitably offer a significant return and will be completed much quicker in someone else’s hands, it justifies the initial cost somewhat more.
Consider collaboration. You are asking a third party to help you with your business. Is that third party going to be a valuable connection for you? Do they know other people who can further your business? Can you offer something in return for them other than payment? Can you even help their business?
Consider reputation. You don’t have to use the most expensive expert, but does this third party have a good reputation? Can you trust them with your business? Who else have they worked with? Have they worked in your industry before? Do they have good online reviews?
Consider spreading the cost. For example, there are over 300,000 houses in Leeds. Instead of reaching every one with a leaflet all at once, is it more viable to start off with 5000 a month?
Having great ideas is a sign of a great business man or woman. But no great business is built single-handedly. Working with others to build your business is essential.
Do what you can on your own, but always consider the help of experts for the rest.